Friday, March 29, 2013

TV News: Arne Dahl's Intercrime series on BBC4

The first five books in Swedish author Arne Dahl's 'Intercrime' series have been adapted for television, two episodes per book. The series begins on BBC4 on Saturday 6 April at 9pm with the first part of The Blinded Man (aka Misterioso).

The Blinded Man tr. Tiina Nunnally, is available in English and the sequel Bad Blood is out in July.

High-flying financiers are being murdered and it is beginning to appear like the work of a serial killer. CID inspector Jenny Hultin puts together a team of top detectives to crack the case swiftly before there are more deaths and a national panic. One of the team, Paul Hjelm, is saved from a disciplinary hearing for shooting a hostage taker when he said he was unarmed. Together with his new colleagues he finds himself working 24 hours a day in shifts to find the killer quickly. They are 'A Unit' and their pursuit of the Fat Cat Killer will expose tensions within the newly-formed group and put some of them in fear of their lives. And what do the financier killings have to do with the Estonian mafia and the discovery of a dead robber in an empty bank with a dart in his eye?

There's more about the tv series on Arne Dahl's website.

Here's the Swedish trailer:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Reviews: Camilleri, Cleeves, Haynes, Kernick, Lipska, MacLean, Roberts, Sherriff, Templeton

Win Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska (UK only)

Nine new reviews have been added to Euro Crime today:

I review Andrea Camilleri's The Dance of the Seagull tr. Stephen Sartarelli, the fifteenth in this charming series;

Lynn Harvey reviews Dead Water by Ann Cleeves, the fifth in the (recently televised) Shetland series;

Amanda Gillies reviews Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes, writing that her work "goes from strength to strength";

Terry Halligan reviews Simon Kernick's Ultimatum, the sequel to Siege;

Rich Westwood reviews this month's competition prize, Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska, and he's looking forward to the sequel;

Geoff Jones reviews S G MacLean's The Devil's Recruit, the fourth in her Alexander Seaton series set in seventeenth century Aberdeen;

Susan White reviews Mark Roberts's debut The Sixth Soul and found it "quite compelling";

Terry also reviews The Wells of St Mary's by R C Sherriff, now available as an ebook or POD, Terry says it was "much appreciated entertainment at the end of a hard day"

and Michelle Peckham reviews Evil for Evil by Aline Templeton, concluding that "Aline Templeton's books featuring Marjory Fleming keep improving with each new outing".

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Free Kindle Ebook - The Bluejay Shaman

Lise McClendon's The Bluejay Shaman is currently free on UK Kindle. It's the first in the Alix Thorssen series. (The Euro Crime connection is that Alix is part Norwegian and the third book in the series is called Nordic Nights!)

Traveling the back roads of Montana, not-quite-fearless art gallery owner Alix Thorssen is far from home and up to her Ray-bans in shaman’s secrets, mysterious deaths, madness, and – ah yes – passion among the pine needles. Whoever killed Shiloh Merkin hated her and wanted her dead. But did Wade Fraser, Alix’s brother-in-law and University of Montana anthropology professor, do the deed? What happened to the petroglyph of the bluejay shaman? Alix follows a trail of sex, moonlit rituals, and legendary artifacts as another murder leads her to a chilling confrontation with the killer.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri

The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri translated by Stephen Sartarelli, March 2013, 224 pages, Mantle, ISBN: 1447228715

THE DANCE OF THE SEAGULL is the fifteenth outing for Sicilian Inspector Montalbano and whereas the CWA-Award winning THE POTTER'S FIELD was about Montalbano's relationship with his deputy, Mimi Augello, SEAGULL highlights his relationship with his colleague Fazio.

Montalbano's long-distance girlfriend Livia flies in to go on holiday with Montabano to another part of the island but Montalbano's not happy about it:

I wouldn't want to run into a film crew shooting an episode of that television series just as we're walking around there...They film them around there you know.

...And what if I find myself face to face with the actor who plays me?

….he's totally bald, whereas I've got more hair than I know what to do with!

Before he and Livia get away however, it seems that Fazio has disappeared. He had told his wife he was meeting Montalbano at the port the previous night and hasn't been seen since. Montalbano has to find out what Fazio's been up to and rescue his friend, if he's been captured, or worse find his body. So begins an investigation which encompasses several deaths, romantic subterfuge and ends with a risky plan to bring down the culprits.

THE DANCE OF THE SEAGULL is Montalbano firing on all cylinders as he outwits those who would hurt his “family” and brings justice to those who consider themselves untouchable. Montalbano, in the main, is as open-minded and compassionate as we've come to expect with the victims and family of victims, with one exception – he is unpleasantly harsh with one victim/witness, which seemed out of character. His relationship with Livia is still as prickly as ever though. The usual mix of wit, food descriptions and political observations run through the narrative and I found myself chuckling regularly. After the slightly weak THE AGE OF DOUBT – the events in which are not referred to at all in this book and despite the similar port setting – this was a real treat.

As I always do, I recommend starting from the beginning, THE SHAPE OF WATER, if you've not read any before, partly because this is a great series but also to follow Montalbano's ageing and how he rails against it and to understand the background to his internal arguments with 'Montalbano One' and 'Two' who are introduced a few books in.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TV News: The Silence on BBC4

I've mentioned the film, The Silence a couple of times on this blog. It's a German film of Jan Costin Wagner's book, Silence, with the setting changed from Finland to Germany.

The film will be on BBC4 next Saturday night at 9pm:

Media reports of the disappearance and murder of a teenage girl remind Timo of something that he has spent his adult life trying to forget, that he was witness to a similar crime 23 years ago. All this time he has kept his silence, but now, with a wife and family of his own, he must confront the past.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Reviews: Byrne, Hooper, Jones, Kerr, Soderberg, Theorin, Tuomainen, Tursten, Wilton

Win Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska (UK only)

Nine new reviews have been added to Euro Crime today:

Laura Root reviews the CWA John Creasey Dagger Award shortlisted Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne;

Michelle Peckham reviews Australian author Chloe Hooper's The Engagement;

Lynn Harvey reviews Chris Morgan Jones's The Jackal's Share, the sequel to An Agent of Deceit, writing "If you like contemporary spy thrillers, and even if you think you don't, The Jackal's Share is one to try and Chris Morgan Jones an author to follow";

Norman Price reviews the latest Bernie Gunther novel from Philip Kerr, A Man Without Breath and says it's a strong contender for the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger;

JF reviews Alexander Soderberg's The Andalucian Friend tr. Neil Smith, the first in the Sophie Brinkmann trilogy, calling it "a remarkable debut novel";

A warm welcome to Sarah Ward who joins the Euro Crime team with her review of Johan Theorin's The Asylum tr. Marlaine Delargy;

I review Antti Tuomainen's The Healer tr. Lola Rogers;

Mark Bailey reviews the fifth in Helene Tursten's Inspector Huss series, The Golden Calf, tr. Laura A Wideburg (the correct reading order can be found here)
and Terry reviews Robert Wilton's Treason's Tide which won the HWA/GOLDSBORO CROWN For Best Debut Historical Fiction 2012 (as The Emperor's Gold).

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Free Kindle Short Story (UK) - Blood on the Water (Alex Connor)

Alex Connor's Blood on the Water, a short story prequel to Isle of the Dead (July 13) is currently available to pre-order for free from It is released 18 April.

This prequel to the conspiracy thriller Isle of the Dead introduces us to the dark side of Venice - a city with secrets to rival its splendour.

Another short story, Unearthing the Bones, is still available for free.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: The Healer by Antti Tuomainen

The Healer by Antti Tuomainen translated by Lola Rogers, February 2013, 246 pages, Harvill Secker, ISBN: 1846555876

Antti Tuomainen's THE HEALER is set in an unspecified but future time when climate change has meant environmental and economic disaster. Those who can afford to flee further north than Helsinki, the setting of THE HEALER, and inhabitants of southern Europe are shifting northwards. Increased rain and sea levels have left countless people homeless and made many parts of Helsinki uninhabitable.

The protagonist of THE HEALER is Tapani, a poet who hasn't sold anything for several years. His wife Johanna is a journalist, trying to cover important issues rather that the lightweight celebrity news that a depressed readership craves. And then she goes missing.

Tapani knows that his wife has been covering 'The Healer' case - that of a serial killer who has been targeting wealthy businesspeople and their families - people who could have done something about climate change if they hadn't been so greedy, in the killer's opinion.

Tapani sets off to find his wife and is aided in his quest unexpectedly by the policeman in charge of The Healer case - a man who is a police officer to his core despite the dismal situation the world finds itself in.

Tapani's investigations takes the reader on a tour of Helsinki, interspersed with flashbacks to happier times with his wife, as he uncovers secrets and finds that he may not know those closest to him as well as he thought.

THE HEALER, like several books I've reviewed recently is full of atmosphere, albeit a gloomy rain-sodden one, slightly at the expense of the action. The plot, tied up refreshingly in less than 250 pages, could be said to be very well constructed or, equally, heavily laden with coincidences but it works in the main. Although called 'The Healer', the book is not about him, it is about a man trying to find his wife: a very noir, amateur private detective story. There are some interesting secondary characters: the policeman mentioned above and an immigrant taxi-driver who chauffeurs Tapani around.

Readers of Scandinavian crime fiction will probably by now feel at home in Stockholm's Gamla Stan or on Oslo's Sofies gate and the slowly increasing number of Finnish crime novels available in translation may mean that Helsinki becomes an equally familiar place. At the moment though, the futuristic Helsinki in the THE HEALER seemed to me a very alien place, it almost could be on a different planet.

THE HEALER is an unusual crime novel and the ethereal tone is reminiscent of Jan Costin Wagner's Kimmo Joentaa series, also set in Finland.

Read another review of THE HEALER.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

TV News: Inspector Nardone on True Movies 2

I've just received a press release telling me about a new Italian crime series, Inspector Nardone (Il Commissario Nardone) starring Sergio Assisi. It's already been on in the US (and is available as a R1 DVD) but will debut in the UK on Friday 15 March at 11pm on True Movies 2 (Sky 322, Freesat 303).
The series is twelve episodes long and is being shown in two-episode blocks every night from 15 to 20  March.

From the press release:
"A grey but optimistic post-war Milan is the ideal breeding ground for a new criminal scene, very
different from the one we are used to today: an old fashioned organized crime, made up of thieves and outlaws who share a specific moral code, which absolutely condemns homicide. Mario
Nardone as the new chief officer is assigned to the Milan Police Department, as if to settle a score for having exposed his corrupt colleagues.”

“Based on a real figure, a true legend in Milan during the 50s and 60s. Mario Nardone seems to be a character from Maigret creator Georges Simenon novel."

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Petrona Award for Scandinavian Crime Fiction

The following press release has been circulated revealing the shortlist for the inaugural Petrona Award, for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. Congratulations to all the nominees.
Introducing a New Annual Award for Scandinavian Crime Fiction:

The Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year

The Petrona Award has been established to celebrate the work of Maxine Clarke, one of the first online crime fiction reviewers and bloggers, who died in December 2012. Maxine, whose online persona and blog was called Petrona, was passionate about translated crime fiction but in particular that from the Scandinavian countries.

The shortlist for the 2013 award, which is based on Maxine's reviews and ratings is as follows:

PIERCED by Thomas Enger, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Faber and Faber)
BLACK SKIES by Arnaldur Indridason, tr. Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker)
LAST WILL by Liza Marklund, tr. Neil Smith (Corgi)
ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE by Leif GW Persson tr. Paul Norlen (Doubleday)

The winning title will be announced at the annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, held 30 May to 2 June 2013. The winning author will receive a full pass for the 2014 CrimeFest event plus a guaranteed panel at the 2014 event.

From 2014 onwards a team of judges will, as well as drawing on their own expertise, apply the criteria that Maxine considered essential in a well-written crime novel: quality of plot, strength of characterisation and the consideration of contemporary social issues.
The judges are:
Barry Forshaw – Writer and journalist specialising in crime fiction and author of two books on Scandinavian crime fiction: ‘Death in a Cold Climate’ and ‘Nordic Noir’ and a biography of Stieg Larsson.

Dr Kat Hall – Academic and international crime fiction reviewer/blogger at Mrs Peabody.

Sarah Ward – Online crime fiction reviewer and blogger at Crimepieces.

Leading Scandinavian crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw said “I’m delighted to be judging an award that is unique in recognising the influence of Scandinavian crime fiction in both the UK and abroad”.

The award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.
Details on eligibility and how to enter for the 2014 Petrona Award can be found on the Petrona Award page of Petrona Remembered, a tribute website where fans of crime fiction can contribute by writing about a favourite book.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Reviews: Aykol, Johnstone, King, McKinty, Nickson, Shepherd, Vargas

Win Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska (UK only)

Seven new reviews have been added to Euro Crime today:

I review Esmahan Aykol's second Kati Hirschel investigation Baksheesh tr. Ruth Whitehouse, set in Istanbul;

Amanda Gillies reviews Doug Johnstone's latest Gone Again which she found even better than Hit & Run;

Lynn Harvey reviews the most recent in the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R King, Garment of Shadows, set in Morocco;

Mark Bailey reviews Adrian McKinty's, I Hear the Sirens in the Street, the second in the 1980s-Northern Ireland Sean Duffy trilogy;

Geoff Jones reviews the fifth in the historical Richard Nottingham series by Chris Nickson: At the Dying of the Year;

Terry Halligan reviews Lloyd Shepherd's sequel to The English Monster, The Poisoned Island

and Sarah Hilary reviews Fred Vargas's The Ghost Riders of Ordebec tr. Sian Reynolds.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Friday, March 08, 2013

OT: Overdrive on Kindle Fire (UK)

I've only recently discovered that UK users can now download the Overdrive App onto their Kindle Fire. I tried to do this a couple of months ago and it wasn't available but I had another look last week and it was. (Search the Kindle Fire App store for Overdrive.) This means that I can get epub ebooks via my local library and also read the epubs I bought from Kobo for my now languishing Sony eReader. (Go to Kobo, go to a title in your library and click on epub and it will prompt you whether you want to use Overdrive.)

I've not had any success with netgalley epub titles yet and I don't know if sideloading free epubs will work but this is an improvement. If only some sort of book organising function could be added as it'll surprise nobody that I have tens of books on my Kindle Fire and would love to put them into bookshelves by category...

I now have to update my spiel at work when people ask about ebooks! It may work on a  Kindle if...etc.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The House at Sea's End

The House at Sea's End is the third book in Elly Griffiths's series set in North Norfolk. I've not read it yet but every time I visit North Norfolk and in particular the RSPB reserve at Titchwell I'm reminded of it:

Maxine's review of The House at Sea's End

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Review: Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol

Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol translated by Ruth Whitehouse, March 2013, 253 pages, Bitter Lemon Press, ISBN: 1908524049

BAKSHEESH is the second of the Kati Hirschel mysteries, following on from HOTEL BOSPHORUS.

Kati Hirschel is the forty-something owner of a specialist crime bookshop in Istanbul. Her parents are German but she was born in Istanbul and has spent time living in both countries and speaks Turkish with a slight accent. She borrows a phrase from Jakob Arjouni's HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TURK (which features a German born to Turkish parents): opposite interrupted to compliment me on my Turkish.
In revenge, I said, “Oh yes? You, too, speak very good Turkish.”
I have to confess it wasn't original – I pinched it from a novel.

Kati's landlord has put her rent up to such a degree that she decides that it's time to own her own property. With a little bribery, the use of baksheesh, you can get first dibs on repossessed properties. When she goes to look at a potential home, an apartment, she gets into an argument with the man currently using it. So much so that he later appears at her shop, where she hits him with an ashtray in self-defence.

So when the man is found dead she is dragged in by the police. To clear her name she sets out to find out who the real murderer is and her investigation leads her to meet different strata of Turkish society.

Though BAKSHEESH has a typical amateur sleuth set-up the strength of the book is in the atmosphere of Istanbul and its society and culture as experienced by a semi-outsider. The different areas of Istanbul have their own reputations as does the country outside Istanbul. Also mentioned are the reasons for people coming to Istanbul, the story of family feuds, as well as customs for when you have visitors and so on. (We also get a look at how Kati perceives Germans.) The “genuine” reason for Kati to sleuth is soon dispensed with however she continues her investigation due to her curiosity and it's best not to think too much about the why and just enjoy the journey which is recounted in a breezy, humorous and intimate way.

BAKSHEESH is an enjoyable book which manages to immerse you in Istanbul, introduce you to some interesting characters and include a murder-mystery all in around 250 pages. Fans of Mehmet Murat Somer should also enjoy this series.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Website Updates - March 2013

Six new reviews were added on Wednesday.

March's competition has gone live this morning - win Anya Lipska's Where the Devil Can't Go.

And the website bibliographies have been refreshed: 

The Author Websites page now lists 975 sites.

In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 1877 authors (linked to 9587 titles of which 2536 are reviewed).

I've added new bibliographies for: A K Benedict, Eric Brown, Tanya Byrne, Paul Cornell, Roberto Costantini, Paula Daly, Sandrone Dazieri, Dagmara Dominczyk, Catherine Dunbar, Sabine Durrant, Friedrich Durrenmatt, Karen Duve, Warren Ellis, Paul Finch, Sophie Frank, Alan Furst, Robert Galbraith, V M Giambanco, C B Hanley, Robert Harris, Sarah Hilary, Pekka Hiltunen, Jonathan Holt, Anna Lee Huber, Maggie Hudson, Christina James, Hannah Kent, Rebecca Kent, Catriona King, Kate Kray, Diane Langford, Adam Lebor, Andrej Longo, Malcolm Mackay, Colette McBeth, Derek B Miller, Guillaume Musso, Geoff Nelder, Nele Neuhaus, Mark O'Sullivan, Seth Patrick, Louise Phillips, Ursula Poznanski, Mark Pryor, Anthony Quinn, Nick Rennison, Mark Roberts, Michael Russell, Leonardo Sciascia, Martin Cruz Smith, Christoph Spielberg, Lauren St John, Julia Stuart, Sam Thomas, Paul Thomas, Linn Ullmann, Antonin Varenne, Tom Vowler, Alana White, Kerry Wilkinson, Charlotte Williams, Gerald Wixey and Inger Wolf.

I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Catherine Aird, Jakob Arjouni, Michael Arnold, Esmahan Aykol, M C Beaton, Nancy Bilyeau, Cara Black, Helen Black, S J Bolton, Stephen Booth, Simon Brett, Frances Brody, Kevin Brooks, Fiona Buckley, Colin Campbell, Phil Campion, Carol K Carr, Clem Chambers, Rory Clements, Barbara Cleverly, Alex Connor, Patrick Conrad, Lesley Cookman, James Craig, Deborah Crombie, Julia Crouch, Luke Delaney, Steven Dunne, Elsebeth Egholm, Geraldine Evans, Giorgio Faletti, Gordon Ferris, Karin Fossum, Ariana Franklin, Nicci French, Elizabeth George, Dolores Gordon-Smith, Grebe & Traff, James Green, J M Gregson, Sophie Hannah, Mari Hannah, Annie Hauxwell, Mo Hayder, Sam Hayes, Elizabeth Haynes, Peter Helton, Mick/M Herron, Suzette A Hill, Anne Holt, Jorn Lier Horst, Maxim Jakubowski, Peter James, Michael Jecks, Chris Morgan Jones, Graeme/G W Kent, Christobel Kent, Philip Kerr, Alanna Knight, Hans Koppel, Jens Lapidus, John Lawton, Leena Lehtolainen, Donna Leon, M L Longworth, Bruce Macbain, Shona Maclean, Scott Mariani, David Mark, James McCreet, Val/V.L. McDermid, Andy McDermott, Adrian McKinty, Andy McNab, Catriona McPherson, Fidelis Morgan, T F Muir, Amy Myers, Jo Nesbo, Hakan Nesser, Chris Nickson, Roger Pearce, Jutta Profijt, Ruth Rendell, Phil Rickman, Imogen Robertson, Peter Robinson, Roslund-Hellstrom, Pauline Rowson, William Ryan, Kevin Sampson, Frank Schatzing, Kate Sedley, Zoe Sharp, Catherine Shaw, Lynn Shepherd, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Anna Smith, Alexander McCall Smith, Frank Smith, Cath Staincliffe, Aline Templeton, David Thomas, James Thompson, Lesley Thomson, Rebecca Tope, Peter Tremayne, M J Trow, Martin Walker, Jason Webster, Louise Welsh, Robert Wilton, Jacqueline Winspear, Tom Wood and Nancy Means Wright 

If you spot any errors or omissions please do let me know.

Win: Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska

This month's competition prizes are two signed copies of Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska, courtesy of The Friday Project, an imprint of HarperCollins.

To enter the draw, to win one of these copies, just answer the question and include your details in the form below.

This competition is open to UK residents only and will close on 31 March 2013.
Only 1 entry per person/per household please.
(All entries will be deleted once the winners have been notified.)

A naked girl has washed up on the banks of the River Thames. The only clue to her identity is a heart-shaped tattoo encircling two foreign names. Who is she – and why did she die?

Life’s already complicated enough for Janusz Kiszka, unofficial 'fixer' for East London’s Polish community: his priest has asked him to track down a young waitress who has gone missing; a builder on the Olympics site owes him a pile of money; and he’s falling for married Kasia, Soho’s most strait-laced stripper. But when Janusz finds himself accused of murder by an ambitious young detective, Natalie Kershaw, and pursued by drug dealing gang members, he is forced to take an unscheduled trip back to Poland to find the real killer.

In the mist-wreathed streets of his hometown of Gdansk, Janusz must confront painful memories from the Soviet past if he is to uncover the conspiracy – and with it, a decades-old betrayal.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Two Free Kindle Ebooks by Geraldine Evans

Two of Geraldine Evans' Rafferty and Llewellyn series are currently available for free on UK Kindle. I've read and reviewed both of them on their original release in 2004/5: Dying for You, sixth in the series, and Love Lies Bleeding, the eighth.

Buy Dying for You here.

Buy Love Lies Bleeding here.